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Christmas Turkey á la Chop Suey Palace for #foodnflix

For this month's Food'N'Flixwe watched, or rewatched as the case may be, A Christmas Story. Heather, at girlichef, is the brain behind this fun event and our hostess this month. Click to see Heathers's invitation.

This post contains an affiliate link for the DVD at the bottom. 

I have to admit that I've never seen this movie. Heather was blown away by that admission: "WHAT!? This is a childhood classic, I thought everybody had seen it ;). Look forward to seeing what you make, Cam!" Okay. Here we go...

On the Screen...
From what I read, this film is based in part on a collection of short story memoirs by satirist Jean Shepherd entitled In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. True to its satire roots, one reason A Christmas Story is so comical: even its most ridiculously outrageous moments feel grounded in reality. You might have gushed - and cringed -, while watching, "Eeek! That happened to me!"

Although the film's setting is never specified, it appears to be pre-WWII, maybe the early 1940s. Protagonist Ralphie Parker is coveting the Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action BB gun. When he shares that with his mom, she dismisses it with a wave of her hand: "You'll shoot your eye out." Unfazed, Ralphie continues his campaign with his father, his teacher, and even the Mall Santa. The consensus: he'll shoot his eye out.

There's more to the movie than a kid's campaign for a dangerous toy - it is a classic after all. There are sequences that every child - and adult - can relate to. Think getting your tongue stuck to a pole; accidentally swearing in front of your parents; when tables turn on the school yard bully; and constant sibling spats. Just watch it. There's a lot of nostalgia and a whole lot of fun. On to the food...

On the Plate...
Not surprisingly, I was inspired by this scene. It was just too funny to pass up. "It's smiling at me!"

Okay, mine came without its head, so it wasn't smiling. I did an Asian-inspired glaze in honor of the Chop Suey Palace. I did not, however, sing when I brought it to the table.

Does the idea of roasting a whole duck intimidate you? Don't let it. This is so just takes time...and a little bit of patience.

Here’s the basic technique: 4 hours at 300 degrees, glaze, then finish it at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes. Here's a more detailed how-to...

Christmas Turkey á la Chop Suey Palace

  • fresh duck
  • sea salt
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 C rice vinegar
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 T ginger syrup
  • 1/3 C tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 C toasted sesame oil
  • 3 T hot sauce (I used some from my friend Belle!)
  • 3 T minced garlic

Unwrap the bird and remove all of the giblets from the duck's cavity. When your duck is empty, rinse it under cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity with some salt. 

With a sharp knife, score a diamond pattern into the duck skin on the breast. Slice very carefully - you want to cut through most of the fat without cutting into the meat. As luck would have it, a duck’s layer of fat is fairly thick. So this process is relatively easy once you get the hang of it.

Poke the duck’s skin all over with a sharp knife, creating small holes through which the fat can escape more easily. Only prick the skin, try not to poke the meat.

It's time to truss the duck! Cross the legs and tie them together like this with a piece of butcher’s twine.

Now it goes into the oven, breast side up.

After the first hour, pull the pan out of the oven. The skin will still be pale, but should be a little bit crisp when poked. Pour off the duck fat into a separate container; I used a large mason jar.
Prick the skin all over with a knife. When pierced, the skin should let out more molten duck fat. Make sure to get the area around the legs, which is particularly fatty.

Flip the bird over, so it’s breast-side down. Pour off more of the duck fat. And pop it back into the oven, breast-side down, for another hour at 300 degrees.

After the second hour, pull the pan out of the oven. The skin will be browner, and more crisp. Prick the skin all over, again and flip the bird breast-side up. Pour off the duck fat again.

Put it back in the oven, breast-side up, for 1 more hour at 300 degrees. After the third hour, remove the pan from the oven. Your duck should be significantly browner and getting more crispy. Prick the skin all over, pour off more fat, and pop it back in the oven. Roast breast-side down for a final hour at 300 degrees.

While the duck is roasting for its last hour, make the glaze...

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened. Remove your glaze from the heat.

After the 4th hour in the oven, pull the pan out of the oven and raise the heat up to 400 degrees.

Brush the duck with glaze so that it's completely covered. If your glaze has cooled and is too thick to spread, just warm it up on the stove and it’ll liquify quickly.

Stick your pan back in the oven, and roast at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes - just until your duck is a beautiful brown color. Keep a close eye on it, and pull it out if it starts to burn.

And that's a wrap for the 2014 #FoodNFlix events. What a year it has been!!

We'll be back in January when Evelyne at Cheap Ethnic Eatz is hosting. We'll be watching Bridget Jones's Diary. Stay tuned for her invitation. Merry Christmas! I hope yours doesn't involve any dog-napped poultry.


  1. I have never made a whole roasted duck but my nephew is a duck hunter and has promised me one. Do you cook it 4 hrs. regardless of the size of the duck? Is the cooking process the same for wild duck as farmed duck? See you are my resident duck expert!!

    1. Good question. I've done three or four whole ducks now...and it always seems to take four hours! Oh, I would suspect that farmed ducks are fattier, so maybe they take longer!

  2. Oh, yum - that glaze sounds amazing, and I looove a good roast duck. I'm glad that you at least somewhat enjoyed the flick, Camilla :). Here's to another great year of food and movies!

    1. Yes, indeed! I love that Food'N'Flix gets me to watch movies that I usually wouldn't. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Love it! I was hoping someone would do a Chop Suey Palace tribute. The Christmas carols never fail to crack me up. ;-) Hopefully this won't be your last viewing of this classic. ;-)

  4. I was so gonna go the chop suey route at first, wow on the whole duck (have not done that yet) Great recipe and Happy New Year.

  5. Doesn't that look great? Great choice, Camilla!


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